Issue date: 15 May 2002

UWE Air Quality Expert, Professor James Longhurst, Director of the Air Quality Research Centre, has been invited by the Chinese to help achieve a Green Olympics in Beijing in 2008. The Chinese are looking at improving the environment in Beijing in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. The air quality management systems in Britain is of particular interest to the Chinese government who wants to see if similar systems could work in Beijing.

Professor Longhurst is an invited speaker at the prestigious second International Environmental Protection Congress (IEPC) in Beijing during High Tech Week. High Tech Week is a huge event involving over a quarter of a million people and including 35,000 overseas delegates. The IEPC is one of the major events held during the week and will attract significant media attention in China.

“I will be making a number of recommendations which are based on the national Air Quality Strategy already adopted in Britain,” said Professor Longhurst who will communicate the transferability of Air Quality Management processes used in GB. “In Britain we have an advanced air quality management system requiring action by national government and local authorities. The local activities, known as review and assessment, are designed to identify local “hot spots” of air pollution where people are exposed to concentrations of pollutants above values specified in regulations. These locations are areas where national actions, on their own, will not lead to the achievement of air quality objectives. In such areas local authorities must designate Air Quality Management Areas and draw up an Action Plan specifying the measures and timescale within which air quality will be improved. Regulations specify the date by which the air quality objectives must be achieved. The British system is one of the most advanced in the world and emphasises public exposure as the key risk which must be minimised.”

Air quality is high on the Olympic agenda as polluted air could have a negative impact on athletic performance. Athens is also working to improve air quality in preparation for its Olympic Games in 2004.

The Congress in Beijing runs from 24 to 27 May 2002.


Editor’s notes

James Longhurst is Professor of Environmental Science and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the University of the West of England.

Other positions include:

Chair of the UK Institution of Environmental Sciences
Deputy Chair of the Committee of the Heads of Environmental Sciences
Member of the Board of the Science Council

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